Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Real RETTO (Otter) Run-Natures to Storms River

Out to pasture, Pennypinchers AR Squad Member, Chris "Che Che" Crewdson celebrated his 10th run of the Otter on Saturday being the Course Director, for the prestigious Otter African Trail Run organised by the elite Magnetic South crew.
Chris was joined by fellow Otter African Trail Run colleague, Petrus "Wingman" Maree who has been responsible for all the field marking and event crew operating on the event. Petrus celebrated his 5th Otter Safety Run. Plus 4 local members of the MCSA Mountain Rescue Crew joined the vital safety scout.
Chris is again splitting this year with 7 months involved in heading up and managing the logistics of the Tour De Tuli, which attracts mountain bikers from all over the globe who come to ride in exquisite natural wilderness areas in the Tuli Block of Botswana, Maramani Community of South Eastern Zimbabwe and finish in the Mapungubwe National Park in RSA. The tour raises funds for the Children In The Wilderness program set up and managed by the worlds largest safari operator - Wilderness Safaris. For the other 5 months he is back home in Knysna and works with the top class Magnetic South team on the Otter African Trail and Sabrina Love Ocean Challenge.
"It has been a major adjustment having to share my year between the lush incredible beauty of the Garden Route and the fast paced big smoke existence of Johannesburg. However getting out there even in the concrete jungle of Gauteng, you do find some gems and its these isolated spots that keep you mindful of just how incredibly fortunate we are to live here in the Southern Cape. I do miss being a regular member of this very passionate group of like minded folk and the Pennypinchers AR Team has given me some unbelievable memories over the years that I have had the pleasure of enjoying racing with it. Now it is time for younger blood to pick up from where I left off and take the team to places I can only dream to be ! "
"It is hard to let go and accept that circumstances require one to move into new directions however my goal is to keep flying the Pennypinchers AR Team brand high at the annual challenging Skyrun, which is all I can fit into a life of living between two centres."
Working on the Otter is an absolute HIGH and what an honour to be involved in this event. It is an exceptional trail and a run that must rank on your "bucket list". What makes the Otter that much more special is that the trail is open to runners ONLY once a year. Magnetic South as part of their safety management due diligence, have put together the most comprehensive management plan of any Trail Run in SA. Included is the sanction by SANParks to have a specific number of safety scouting runs on the trail with members of the MCSA Mountain Rescue Team who are called out when hikers get into emergency situations. Two members of the Pennypinchers AR Team, Lettuce & Jeaneatte form part of this highly dedicated Mountain Rescue unit and shared my 10th outing. How fitting could that have been !!! 
A REMINDER that the Otter Trail is not allowed to be run unless your are a participant in the event or a sanctioned member of the safety team and all the necessary permissions have been given by SANParks, Magnetic South and MCSA Mountain Rescue.
Wishing the team and its many very supportive and loyal sponsors/supporters a year full of the GOOD STUFF.
Much appreciation to you all for making my time in the team an absolute adventure - see you at Skyrun !
Che Che